Replace 3 way switch with outlet


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Old 05-07-21, 03:45 PM
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Replace 3 way switch with outlet

I have a box in my garage that was a 3-way switch. We remodeled our main floor a few years ago and the electrician took the switch out as I never used it. Not sure why I didnít have him convert it then. The other switch is in the house and controls the exterior lights.

Can I change it to an outlet?

It has 3 sets of wires. The two black wires tied together with the wire nut are hot. But nothing registers when I separate them. How do I connect these to an outlet?
 

Last edited by PJmax; 05-07-21 at 04:17 PM. Reason: resized/labeled pic
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Old 05-07-21, 04:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I labeled neutral and what appears to be hot.
You need to check and make sure the black wires stay hot all the time regardless of where the other three way switch is set.

The box in the picture can be the load side or the line side of the three way circuit.
Your test will et us know which.
 
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Old 05-07-21, 07:40 PM
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The two black wires tied together that you marked as hot are hot if the switch is on or off. All the wires are hot when the switch is on.
 
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Old 05-07-21, 07:58 PM
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The two whites I labeled as neutral should not be hot. Those should be the neutrals.
 
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Old 05-07-21, 08:28 PM
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Do I need to separate the two white wires?
 
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Old 05-07-21, 08:33 PM
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No. Add a tail of white wire to that splice. Add a tail of black wire to the black splice.
This way there is a single wire on each side of the receptacle.
 
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Old 05-07-21, 09:00 PM
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Thank you. And the lights will still function normally?
 
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Old 05-07-21, 10:45 PM
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Yes. You aren't changing anything.
 
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Old 05-08-21, 10:05 AM
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I spliced as directed but the outlet only works when the light is on. I confirmed that the black splice is always hot. I tried attaching the single white wire instead of the spiced whites but that didnít work either. Very strange.
 
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Old 05-08-21, 10:42 AM
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You need to be using a two lead voltage tester or meter. A non contact pen will not work properly here.

From your description.... that box is at the load side of the three way circuit. That's why I had you test.
Now you will need to make a wiring change at the working 3w switch end to send always live to your location.

Here's what's happening.... in one position the light works and the black splice is live. In the other position the black splice is dead, the light is out and more than likely the black wire with the red tape will now be live. That's why a non contact tester will always show power.
 
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Old 05-08-21, 05:20 PM
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Ok thanks. The 3w switch was changed out to a regular switch. Iíll have to take a look to see how they wired it.
 
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Old 05-08-21, 05:39 PM
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You should see a matching black wire with red tape that is capped off.
You could make that into a hot wire by getting power at the single pole switch end.
 
 

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